President Sirleaf Meets With Students and Authorities of CUC

Wednesday, 18th April 2007
President Sirleaf holds talks with students of the Cuttington University College in Suakoko, Bong County.
President Sirleaf holds talks with students of the Cuttington University College in Suakoko, Bong County.
Photo Credit: Adama B. Thompson/Executive Mansion
Monrovia, Liberia - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says dialogue is the best option for solving the problems between the Administration and students of the Cuttington University College. The President warned that acts of hooliganism and violence will not be tolerated by her government, adding that it sends a bad signal about the country to the international community.

According to an Executive Mansion release, President Johnson Sirleaf was speaking on Wednesday at the Cuttington University College in Bong County, where she went to intervene in the impasse which led to the disruption of classes and subsequent closure of the university by the Administration.

The President told the students that they have the right to put forward their grievances, but challenged them to exercise their right in an orderly manner. The President frowned on the studentís decision to set up road blocks on paths leading to the campus. She stressed that her government remains committed to providing quality education for its young people, saying that such disturbances go a long way in frustrating governmentís good work. The Liberian Leader said students who decide to stay on campus during the temporary closure would be on governmentís resources, but warned that any student caught perpetuating violence would be dealt with in keeping with the law. The President said her government will not undermine the administrationís decision to temporarily close down the University.

The Liberian Leader urged Dr. Henrique Tokpa, President of the University and members of the faculty to be proactive in communicating with the students. The President also stressed the need to continue regular communication with the students as a pre-emptive measure, adding that there should be clear understanding on issues.

The students, who catalogued a number of concerns, called for the lifting of the ban on political activities on their campus, and the transfer of all books to the library from the book store.

President Johnson Sirleafís delegation to the University included Education Minister Dr. Joseph Korto, Defense Minister Brownie Samukai, NCDDRR Executive Director Rev. Jarvis Witherspoon and Cuttington University Collegeís Alumni Association President Mrs. Eleen Nemah.